Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gypsies, Golden Hair Rock Gods and the Belle of St. Marks

Robert Plant Prospect Park
I have to surmise that it seems that my music adventures come in tsunamis. No, I cannot simply go to see a show. My behavior is quite obsessive when it comes to music, I openly admit. I had a perfect close to July this year, seeing a legend. one of my favorite bands multiple times, and an 80's icon.
When you are a rock and roll fan, you would travel far and wide to see legend, Robert Plant. Although some are mad at him that he won't do a Zeppelin reunion - I get it. He's moved on and in true artist style, he isn't in that vibe anymore. He has embraced southern blues and he has done so with his entire being.
I've seen him in Tennessee and twice in New York, but when I heard he was playing in Brooklyn, it was an opportunity not to be missed.
 There was quite the mix of audience members from four year- olds to probable 1970's groupies. And we were all there for the same reason. I knew the show would be good, but when he opened with Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, I just knew the night would be fantastic. He didn't disappoint. He continued with varied versions of In the Mood, Black Dog, Goin' to California, Four Sticks, Friends, a soulful cover of Fixin' to Die, What is and What Should Never Be, Rock and Roll and a few others. For someone not in the Zeppelin mood - he was that night. The songs would all start out mysterious, bluesy, tribal, and then WHAM, pure rock and roll Led Zeppelin. What everyone is Prospect Park received that night was a gift. Robert Plant is not only a legend but he is a talented musician who continues to learn about the job he loves so very much.
Moving right along. Back in 2008, I witnessed the beginning of my love affair with this Gypsy Punk band from New York City's Lower East Side: Gogol Bordello. Maybe it is my Slovak background and the numerous Sunday's spent listening to polkas, but I fell in love immediately. With the  release of their latest album Pura Vida Conspiracy, I had the opportunity to see them three obsessive times in one week. 

Pasha and Elizabeth
Every time I see Gogol Bordello, there seems to be more energy, more synergy and more mosh pits. Eugene exudes nothing but positive energy, Sergey is a Russian violin god and, I do miss Yuri, but he chose well with the new accordion player, Pasha. If you get the opportunity - do not miss them. Warning though, if you stand up front, be prepared to dance, fit pump, jump up and down and crowd surf.
Just when I thought my musical adventure had come to an end, a co-worker told me that none other than Sheila E was performing for free at BAM's Metrotech lunch series. You must check out their summer calendar folks. I saw Richie Havens a few years back - and it's free!
So I trekked down to Metrotech in the rain and made it just in time to hear the first cheers from the crowd. And there she was - the drummer for Prince,  Sheila E. Highlight of the lunch hour show? Hearing the classic Belle of St. Marks live
So there you have it, my end of July music extravaganza. I never, ever pass up the opportunity to see music if it is possible. If you love music as much as I do, surround yourself with musicians that do the same. You want to walk away from a show knowing they gave their all for you and enjoyed every minute of it!

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